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Symphonic Shakespeare

October 19 at 8:00 pm

The Akron Symphony Orchestra will explore music from the film adaptations of two of Shakespeare's greatest works - Hamlet and Henry V - along with a dramatic piece from acclaimed composer Ethel Smyth.

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Symphonic Shakespeare


October 19
8:00 pm
$4 – $60
Event Category:


E.J. Thomas Hall
198 Hill Street
Akron, OH 44325 United States
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Ethel Smyth – highly acclaimed in the early 20th century – opens her opera The Wreckers with high drama, depicting a murderous seacoast community in Scotland. Shostakovich may have found in Shakespeare’s Hamlet a mirror of his own personal turmoil. Walton’s music for Henry V, starring and directed by Laurence Olivier, is itself a starring feature of this glorious film.

Christopher Wilkins, conductor
Nick Steen, narrator
Donald Carrier,
Akron Symphony Chorus
Chris Albanese,
Chorus Director

Smyth The Wreckers Overture
Shostakovich Hamlet Film Suite
Walton Henry V: A Shakespeare Scenario

Classic Series Subscriptions and Flex Subscriptions are on sale now. All ticket sales are final.

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Unlimited available
A (Orchestra Floor Level)$60.00
Unlimited available
D (Grand Tier)$60.00
Unlimited available
B (Orchestra Floor Level)$47.00
Unlimited available
E (Grand Tier)$47.00
Unlimited available
C (Orchestra Floor Level)$37.00
Unlimited available
F (Grand Tier Side)$37.00
Unlimited available
G (Grand Tier Center)$37.00
Unlimited available
H (Grand Tier Rear)$25.00
Unlimited available
Child/Student A/D$30.00
Unlimited available
Child/Student B/E$23.50
Unlimited available
Child/Student C/F/G$18.50
Unlimited available
Child/Student H$12.50
Unlimited available
Parking (Valet)$10.00
Unlimited available
Parking (Regular)$4.00

Did You Know?

Along with his score to Kozintsev’s King Lear (1970), Shostakovich’s score to Kozintsev’s Hamlet (1963-64) is commonly said to be the best of his film scores. The intensity of mood, the concentration of its effect, and the originality of the themes elevate the score far beyond the music for the many propaganda films Shostakovich scored in the late 1930s and again in the late 1940s and early 1950s. But it is the overall integrity and sincerity of the music that elevate the Hamlet music to the highest levels of Shostakovich’s art. (Source: allmusic.com)

Ethel Smyth was a 20th-century British composer and a champion of women’s rights and female musicians. During her lifetime, she composed symphonies, choral works (musical pieces written for a choir), and operas including The Wreckers (1906), and is most well known for The March of Women, an anthem for the women’s suffrage movement. In 1922, she was named a Dame of the British Empire. (Source: Brooklyn Museum)

Composer William Walton created the soundtrack for three films starring Laurence Olivier: Henry V, Hamlet and Richard III. Walton also composed Crown Imperial for the 1937 coronation of England’s King George VI. (Source: The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music

Guest Artists

Nick Steen (Narrator) 

Nick Steen is truly honored to be joining the Akron Symphony for this wonderful night of Symphonic Shakespeare. Nick is a classically trained theater, film and voice actor based out of Texas. He holds a master’s degree from the American Conservatory Theater, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Evansville.

Previous roles in his career include; Mr. Darcy in Pride & Prejudice, Mark Antony in Julius Caesar, Laertes in Hamlet, Theseus & Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, MacDuff in Macbeth, Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol, Phillip Lombard in And Then There Were None, and Mr. Myers, Q.C. in Witness for the Prosecution.

Nick also hosts a web series about cars called Gearhead Garage that he, and his lovely wife, Nicki, created, and a How-To series with RumbleOn Motorcycles. Nick has endless gratitude for his family and for the love of his life, Nicki.

To learn more, visit www.NickSteen.com.

Donald Carrier (Narrator)

Donald Carrier has directed and performed across North America and internationally.

His regional credits include The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear and The Tempest (The Old Globe); Twelfth Night and Hamlet (Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival); A Christmas Carol (Great Lakes Theater); Shining City (Studio Theatre); Noises Off (Maltz Jupiter Theatre); The Duchess of Malfi and Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre); Gross Indecency (Huntington and Intiman Theatres); The School for Scandal (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Too True To Be Good (Shaw Festival).

Donald’s orchestra narrations include Romeo and Juliet and The Carnival of the Animals for The Cleveland Orchestra, He has also directed Discovering Romeo and Juliet and The Violins of Hope for The Cleveland Orchestra.

Other directing credits include Becky Shaw at Dobama Theatre and Seminar and Really, Really at The Beck Center. 

Donald is the Interim Director of the CWRU/CPH MFA Acting Program and a 2016 Lunt/Fontanne Fellow.

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